After Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton signed new contract extensions, the Formula One community is in a frenzy as to how much these drivers earn with these mouth-watering contracts.
Last year, all the speculation was about Lewis Hamiton and the value of his next contract. Halfway through the 2020 F1 season, it became clear that Lewis was going to clinch that record-equalling seventh Driver’s World Championship title, which was going to further skyrocket his market value.
Although the seven-time world champion mostly played down talks about the importance of his new contract, reports suggested the Brit was seeking a further pay rise. Hamilton was on £40m a year in his previous deal – earning more than £2m each race in a pandemic-hit 17-race calendar.
Hamilton finally put pen to paper three weeks before the pre-testing season began. It was largely due to first him and then Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff contracting COVID-19. Given the limited time, the two only agreed on a one-year extension.
Lewis’ one-year extension saw him stay with the Silver Arrows ahead of the 2021 season. Although his salary fell from £28.7m per year to £21.9m, Hamilton was still well clear of the second highest-paid driver on the grid.
Current championship leader Max Verstappen, who signed a new contract with Red Bull at the start of the 2020 season, will be taking home £18.25m base salary every year. The Dutchman is at the peak of his powers and in the driving seat to win his first-ever Driver’s World Championship title.
Next on the list, and maybe a surprise to a few, is two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, earning a whopping £14.6m every season since his return to F1 with Alpine. After a difficult first few races where the Spaniard looked rusty and out of sync with his car, Alonso has been consistently finishing in the points-scoring places, justifying the gamble Alpine took with the 39-year-old.
From one former world champion in a new team to another in Sebastian Vettel, the four-time world champion left Ferrari’s poisoned chalice to join the newly branded Aston Martin outfit. The 34-year-old had to take a massive pay cut to join the British outfit, signing a three-year contract that would fetch him £10.95m every year.
And on a similar pay grade to Sebastian, seven-time Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo made the switch from Renault to McLaren Mercedes, earning £10.95m annually, just like the four-time world champion.
Next on the list is the rookie that has impressed the most since Verstappen’s entry into the sport. After a hugely impressive debut season, where Charles Leclerc won two races and outperformed his then teammate Sebastian Vettel, the young Monégasque was rewarded with a mega offer that would fetch him £8.76m annually on base salary.
Such is the appeal of Leclerc to Ferrari, that the driver behind him is none other than Mercedes number two, Valtteri Bottas. The Finn is in the final year of his current contract, which fetches him £7.3m annually on base salary.
From one Finn to the other, the 2007 world champion Kimi Räikönen is alongside his compatriot. But for a 41-year, £7.3m per year is a fair price for the amount of the experience he brings and his exceptional feedback that has only helped the Alfa Romeo team to bridge the gap to the midfield.
Next in line is the versatile Carlos Sainz Jr., the Spaniard who joined Ferrari following the departure of Sebastian Vettel. The former McLaren driver was roped in by Ferrari for a £7.3m base salary annually.
Lance Stroll is a surprise in 10th. Son of Aston Martin team owner, Lawrence Stroll, junior Stroll is in his fourth season now and alongside a four-time world champion, the Canadian will get to learn a lot of things in these three years. Lance bags £7.3m a year on base salary.
Sergio Pérez’s heroics at the Sakhir Grand Prix last season didn’t go unnoticed. However, the Mexican was shockingly dropped by Racing Point in favour of Sebastian Vettel. Pérez did the unthinkable at Sakhir and his life turned on its head. From the possibility of no drive for the 2021 season to being snapped up by Helmut Marko and Christian Horner as Red Bull’s second driver, the Mexican now bags £5.84m annually on base salary.
Pierre Gasly, who used to own that second Red Bull seat, is just behind the Mexican. Since his unexpected win at Monza last season, the Frenchman has gone from strength to strength, being one of the most consistent drivers in the F1 grid alongside the likes of Verstappen, Norris, and Hamilton. Pierre Gasly earns £3.65m in base salary every year, and with his contract set to expire at the end of this season, he is expected to be rewarded with a bumper offer in the coming months.
On a similar pay grade to Gasly is Lando Norris, who is in his third season with McLaren. The young Brit has recently been rewarded with a multi-year deal by McLaren from 2022 onwards. As far as his current deal is concerned, Lando earns £3.65m a year on base salary.
That leaves one final driver who earns more than a million a year. Esteban Ocon, the French driver from Alpine who recently extended his contract with the team for another three years. Ocon will be earning £3.65m on base salary this season, while the financial details of his new contract haven’t been made public yet.
That leaves us with six drivers who are paid substantially less than the drivers at the top of the grid. The Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, the Williams duo of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, and Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo are on a similar pay grade. These five drivers earn a base salary of £0.73m every year, while Japanese sensation Yuki Tsunoda earns the least among all drivers with an annual base salary of £0.365m.
List of drivers and their salaries
Lewis Hamilton – £21.9 million
Valtteri Bottas – £7.3 million
Max Verstappen – £18.25 million
Sergio Pérez – £5.84 million
Lando Norris – £3.65 million
Daniel Ricciardo – £10.95 million
Sebastian Vettel – £10.95 million
Lance Stroll – £7.3 million
Pierre Gasly – £3.65 million
Yuki Tsunoda – £0.365 million
Charles Leclerc – £8.76 million
Carlos Sainz Jr. – £7.3 million
Fernando Alonso – £14.6 million
Esteban Ocon – £3.65 million
Kimi Räikkönen – £7.3 million
Antonio Giovinazzi – £0.73 million
George Russell – £0.73 million
Nicholas Latifi – £0.73 million
Mick Schumacher – £0.73 million
Nikita Mazepin – £0.73 million